India win 3rd ODI by six wickets
GROS ISLET: India dodged the showers to eke-out a workmanlike six-wicket victory over West Indies in the rain-hit third One-day International on Friday at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
India take an unbeatable 2-1 lead the four-match series with the final match to be contested on Sunday at the same venue.
Chasing a revised target of 159 from 22 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method following a near hour-long stoppage for rain during their chase, India hit the jackpot with one ball to spare.
"It was close because every time we tried to get away from them, the rain kept coming and Duckworth-Lewis came into the picture," said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose unbeaten 46 from 34 balls shepherded his side over the threshold.
"Overall, I am quite happy with the performance."
India were put on the path to glory, when their openers Dinesh Karthik and Gautam Gambhir shared 95 in 12.1 overs for the first wicket.
Karthik hit the top score of 47 from 43 balls, and Gambhir made 44 from 38 balls before they were dismissed within three overs of each other to leave India 108 for two in the 16th over.
India also lost Yuvraj Singh for two and Rohit Sharma for 11, but India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni held his nerve, and helped his side navigate the closing overs to take them over the threshold.
India required 11 from the final over, and Dhoni hit a six off the second ball from Jerome Taylor over mid-wicket, before Yusuf Pathan hit the winning run, when he stabbed a short, rising ball into square cover, and scampered a single.
Earlier, Ramnaresh Sarwan stroked 62 to lead West Indies to 185 for seven.
Sarwan struck five fours and a six from 58 balls, after India sent West Indies in to bat, and the home team tried to maintain the intensity, after the weather failed to cooperate, and reduced their innings to a maximum of 27 overs.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle supported with 27, Runako Morton scored 22, and Darren Bravo made 21 to keep the momentum going.
Ashish Nehra led India's bowling with three for 21 from five overs, and Harbhajan Singh captured two for 25 from five overs.
"The weather played a big part in the outcome, but there is nothing that we could have done about it," said Gayle.
"I thought we started pretty well in the batting, but we fell off a bit towards the end, and then they got off to a good start, and we tried to pull it back.
"It came down to the last over, and we have to give credit to Dhoni for the way he batted, and took his side home."
Play started two hours and five minutes late because of the weather, but then a couple more stoppages for rain forced the final reduction in the number of overs.
India were put on their heels by Gayle with typically robust batting before rain forced the players of the field.
Nehra made the breakthrough for India, when Gayle was caught behind in the fourth over, but then another shower sent the players scampering.
On resumption, India tried to keep a lid on the West Indies' scoring, but Sarwan added 51 with Morton, and 47 with Chanderpaul to keep the home team going.
When Gautam Gambhir's throw from square leg to keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain, ran Sarwan out in the 21st over, West Indies were 135 for four.
India were then put under further pressure, when the Bravo brothers - Darren and Dwayne - added 44 for the fifth wicket before West Indies lost three wickets for 16 runs in the last two overs.
There were two changes for India with Ishant Sharma and Abhishek Nayar replacing Praveen Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja, but West Indies were - predictably - unchanged.
India won the high-scoring opening ODI by 20 runs last Friday at Sabina Park in Jamaica, and two days later, West Indies rebounded to secure an eight-wicket victory in a low-scoring second ODI at the same venue.
Friday's victory means that India are now in pole position to formalise a rare ODI series victory in the Caribbean before embarking on a much-anticipated two-month break from the game.